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Transfer shines in Pitt scrimmage

| Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009

Long before he transferred to Pitt from a 938-student college in Louisiana, Chase Adams played for one of the top high school teams in the nation.

His Mount Saint Joseph (Md.) team had won a state-record 38 games in a row but lost to traditional power DeMatha (Md.) in the final game of the season.

The team finished ranked No. 8 in the USA Today, but Adams was inconsolable.

"He doesn't like to lose," Mount Saint Joseph coach Pat Clatchey said. "After the game, he was just like after any other time we lost. He wasn't happy."

Said Adams, "I've got a strong competitive nature, and it makes me want to win at all costs. I didn't have any intentions of losing tonight."

Adams, who transferred from Centenary College as Pitt tries to fill the void left by departed point guard Levance Fields, showed some hints that he will be able to play in the Big East this season.

Adams, who has one year of eligibility, scored 21 points to lead all scorers in Pitt's annual Blue-Gold scrimmage at Petersen Events Center on Tuesday night.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Adams, known more of a defensive stopper at Centenary, proved he can score as well, going 8 for 11 from the field and 5 for 7 from 3-point range, as his Blue squad won, 56-53.

Junior guard Brad Wanamaker led the Gold team with 19 points, and Ashton Gibbs added 17.

The 32-minute scrimmage provided fans with the first glimpse of the new-look Panthers, who lost four starters from last year's 31-5 Elite Eight team.

Adams joined the Panthers in August when he transferred from Centenary. Because his old school was dropping from Division I to Division III, Adams was eligible to play immediately.

"I think he will turn out to be a pleasant surprise and be a big contributor this year," Clatchey said. "He's not going to be intimidated or star-struck in the Big East. The fans will respect how hard he works."

Adams, a Baltimore native, started three seasons at Centenary and was named the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year last season after finishing with 2.7 steals per game, good for eighth among all Division I players. He also averaged 14 points and shot 39 percent from 3-point range, but he always envisioned himself as a passer and defender.

"As of lately, I've been shooting pretty well. Coach has been telling me when you're open, take the shot," Adams said. "Here, I started out playing the two, so I was able to shoot a little more."

He has provided the Panthers with backcourt depth, leadership and defensive toughness.

"I definitely feel like I can compete at the Big East level," Adams said. "That's why I came here."

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